By Samuel Edu
The projection of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, on Nigeria’s economy going into recession this year may not be a reality if the leaders ensure a peaceful elections and transition to another administration, experts have warned.
They equally said insecurity that has paralyzed agricultural activities must also be seriously addressed.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, earlier this month warned that at least one-third of the global economy might slip into recession in 2023.
She made this known on the CBS Sunday morning news programme, Face the Nation, on Sunday.
“We expect one-third of the world economy to be in recession. Even countries that are not in recession, it would feel like recession for hundreds of millions of people,” she said.
The IMF boss said much of the global economy, 2023 is going to be a tough year as the main engines of global growth – the US, Europe and China would experience weakening activities.
Though some of the experts differed on the probability of Nigeria sliding into recession, but they all called for the leaders and citizens to look inward.
Some of the economic experts said IMF was right in its projection, others submitted that Nigeria’s economic growth is not negative, hence, there is no likelyhood of it entering into recession.
They said if the projection of IMF come to reality, people that fall below the poverty line will increase and such will lead to a worse economic crisis.
Those who spoke with the Hope were Professor Philip Olomola, Dr Abiodun Adegboye, Dr. David Olayungbo and Dr. Adebayo Adedokun all from the Department of Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Prof Philip Olomola was of the opinion that “if the projection of IMF becomes a reality, people that falls below the poverty will increase and the economic crisis will continue.
“This calls for a proactive move on the part of the government but unfortunately, the prevailing macroeconomic condition and the international environment are not conducive and this calls for the leaders to look inward and take proactive steps.
Dr Abiodun Adegboye was of the opinion that “the macro economics indicators and also some micro economic variables are pointing towards negative growth on consistent basis.
“If this negative growth rate spans consecutively through four quarters, that is a year, we call it depression but if it is just one quarter, in a recession.
“In the case of Nigeria, key of some of the factors that influenced the projection of IMF on the negative growth in the economy is the shock coming from the global economy; the price of crude oil.
“When the prices of commodity are expensive and it is affecting production, the growth rate of the economy will be negative. IMF implies that the economy of last year will be judged as better than that of this year perhaps because this is an election year.
“The implication of this projection on the nation’s economy is that it will doubtlessly scare away investors from Nigeria because most investors depend on report of IMF, World Bank and other credible international organizations, so when global investors hear such reports, it affects their decision.
“As it stands now, the solution to all these is only guaranteed through a peaceful election and an itch free hand over to a new administration, this is what political economics advocate. Peaceful transition gives confidence to investors.
In his own view, Dr. David Olayungbo who noted that the key problem of Nigeria is that of leadership said the projection of IMF may not see the light of the day if we can get it right and we have a positive change in government.
“I believe all hope is not lost for Nigeria If we can get it right as we go to the poll again. If a credible government can come in, I believe the projection of IMF may not materialize.
“But giving what we have now, if the the economy should continue like this throughout the first quarter of this year, then by the end of the first quarter, Nigeria may enter into recession. No fuel, the electricity is not stable, if these persist, productivity will be very low.
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